Diabetes Education Spanish Services Now Available!
Spanish Services Now Available!
“¿Necesitas unas cucharas?” my coworker asked with a smile. “Sí” I responded self-consciously.
That was the moment in my life when I suddenly understood how useful knowing more than one language could be. Spanish wasn’t just a class I was taking in school. It would allow me to communicate with people from countries all over the world! I was learning Spanish and the workers in the café I worked in were learning English. We started out with “dictionary conversations” during breaks. That led to sharing music and food and to friendships.
It may be an unlikely way to launch into a love of learning languages, but every passion has an “aha moment” where the lightbulb clicks on and stays on. That inconspicuous moment was my lightbulb moment.
I studied business and languages in college my first time through. Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Chinese, to be specific. Spanish is the language I found the most opportunity to utilize in my day-to-day life and at work.
I went back to school to become a Registered Nurse along the way when I realized I wanted to become a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist after attending a MANDATORY ( ) Diabetes Education class. After over 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes, my younger self thought, “What could I POSSIBLY learn that would justify this much time off of work and money?” It turned out that I learned several key details that gave me some power back over living with diabetes and improved my safety and confidence. Turns out that was another “aha” moment. Another lightbulb turned on and stayed on. I could become a Diabetes Educator and help people live healthier lives in spite of having diabetes AND I could do it in English AND in Spanish!
I became Master Certified as a Spanish Interpreter at the University of Colorado Hospitals and Clinics. This allowed me the ability to interpret and translate consent forms, explain procedures, treatment plans, and provide education and discharge plans to clients and their families in Spanish. In the Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Clinic, it allowed me to translate our handouts into Spanish, to develop and hold group classes in Spanish, and see clients individually in Spanish without the need for an interpreter.
So far at Integrated Diabetes Services, utilizing my Spanish language skills has allowed me to participate in providing a webinar to over 270 Endocrinologists and other Healthcare Providers in Mexico. I have the honor to work with and continue to meet individuals who are passionate experts in many Spanish-speaking countries where diabetes education and support, especially for clients with Type 1 Diabetes, may be significantly lacking. I look forward to the opportunity to work with additional clients and their families in English AND/OR in Spanish over the upcoming years.
Tavia Vital BSN, BA, RN, CDCES
Director of Intensive Diabetes Management
Tavia is a Registered Nurse, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, and Certified Trainer on most makes/models of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring systems. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Regis University in Denver, Colorado after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from the University of Iowa. Tavia’s professional experience includes inpatient and outpatient nursing in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism, as well as a high-risk diabetes and pregnancy clinic.